Review: Amala’s Blade #3 (of 4)

If there’s one series that you can count on this week to be entertaining, heart-warming and just an overall blast to read, it’s Amala’s Blade. With this being the third issue of a four issue series you might be late coming in, but with a digital option and more shops having some kind of back issue stock it’s not too late to join this journey. Because that’s what this is… a journey. Amala’s personal journey is huge and her responsibility plays a big role in that as we find out in this issue. To start with, I’m going to have to skip the first few pages. It’s nothing against them; it’s actually to save you from one of the biggest spoilers of the series. Perhaps it was alluded to in the last issue or maybe it was obvious, but I didn’t catch it and my jaw dropped when I read it. Let’s just say that Amala fails and is captured because we basically knew that would happen. One of the major plot points in the prevention of another war so her succeeding wouldn’t benefit the story unless it suddenly stopped being a mini-series.

Let’s check in with Smitty real quick, he was in a show down with a tank if you recall and rather than stay and die a pointless death he engages a lever and out comes a two seat helicopter. It’s very cool and creative. Each issue is filled with so much imagination and a variety of influences that you don’t know what’s going to pop out next. It’s a short scene, but it feeds into the overall magic of the series.

Amala's Blade #3Amala and the Queen find themselves in the Prince of the Modifiers throne room. If you recall the Prince is supposedly in love with the Queen and wants to get married to unite the people. While Amala is lectured by the Prince her ghosts go to work on the computer system and reveal a hidden army in the no man’s land waiting to attack the Purifiers. It’s seems our Price is a dirty dog after all. The Queen asks that Amala not be hurt, but the Prince lies and throws her down in his dungeon area with a giant Pokemon-esc snake that has eaten a lot of people as is evident by all the skeletons lying around.

There is so much more to this issue and the spoiler that I skipped for you is great. It completely changes the dynamic of the plot. In a lot of ways this series is Amala’s origin story, but rather than being boring or listing through her abilities or even why she’s so special, everything is explained through the adventure. It’s a brilliant way to tell the origin as the different pieces of her life actually relate to the events currently happening to her. What’s even better is that her past is revealed in different ways; sometime through a flashback, but also just a conversation between characters.

I talked about imagination earlier and it’s clear that both Horton and Dialynas are pouring theirs into this series. I’ll admit that I’m very biased towards Dialynas’ art style because I absolutely love it. The world of Naamaron is one that I would like to adventure to because Dialynas brings it to life and makes it reality. It’s the same experience I receive from Spera which is also about female adventurers. Really quickly I’d like to mention that the battle armor snake creature is awesome. Those scenes in particular really stole the show, but also added an entirely new layer to the world that’s mostly been populated by humans.

I’m kind of bummed that there is only one more issue after this one, but hopefully with the positive response and sales we can count on at least another series. Horton and Dialynas make a wonderful team and I stand by their ability of being able to create and populate amazing worlds that belong among the top ranks of creators in the comic and animation industry. When I read this story I feel like I’m reading something special that is on the cusp of breaking through to all comic book readers. Dark Horse is a triple threat this week and Amala’s Blade is one of its best books period.

Score: 5/5

Writer/Letterer: Steve Horton

Artist/Colorist: Michael Dialynas

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.50

Release Date: 6/26/13